Daily Reading & Meditation

 Friday (May 16): “Do not let your hearts be troubled!”

Scripture: John 14:1-6

1 "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going." 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."

Meditation: Do you allow any troubles to rob you of God's peace? As much as we try to avoid it, we all inevitably encounter trouble and difficulties. Jesus knew his disciples would have to face trials and persecution after he left them to return to his Father in heaven. Adversity can make us lose hope and become discouraged, or it can press us closer to God and to his promises for us.

"It is the LORD who goes before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you or forsake you; do not fear or be dismayed" (Deuteronomy 31:8).
Just as God, who appeared as a Pillar of Cloud by day and a Pillar of Fire by night, went ahead of Moses and the Israelites to lead them safely through the wilderness to the promised land, Jesus tells his disciples that he is going ahead through his ascension into heaven to prepare a place for them in his Father's house – a place of lasting peace, friendship, and happiness with God. God's house is never closed nor over-crowded – there is plenty of room for everyone who believes in God and in his beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The greatest fear in this present life – whether it be the separation and loss of a loved one or the threat to one's own life – is put to rest by Jesus' promise that we will live forever with him and the eternal Father. There we will be joined with a great company of saints and angels who will be our friends forever as well.

Do you know the way to the Father's house in heaven? Jesus expected his disciples to know where his life was headed – to dwell in everlasting glory with his Father in heaven. And he expected that his disciples would recognize that this was their ultimate destination as well. Thomas, who was both a doubter and a realist, spoke for all the disciples when he said, "we neither know where you are going nor how we shall get there on our own?" Thomas was a very practical "down to earth" kind of person who wanted to see the map and landmarks showing the exact path that would lead the way to the desired haven. Jesus assured Thomas that he would not only give him everything he needed to complete the journey, he would be Thomas' personal guide as well.

Taveling alone in unfamiliar or uncharted places can be unnerving and bewildering without a companion or guide. And some places are impossible to pass through without the right person who knows the way and who can guarantee a safe passage. Several years ago I was invited by Christian friends to visit their community in Lebanon. They were in the middle of a civil war that would last for 15 years (1975-1990). Months and years of hardship, exposure to danger, and the uncertainty of the war's outcome, as well as being physically cutoff from outside contact with friends, was weighing heavily. I was eager to visit to offer some support. Since I had never traveled there before, nor spoke the local language, I knew that I was helpless without a trustworthy guide. Fortunately a close Christian friend from Lebanon met me half-way on my journey and personally guided me through some unfamiliar territory, including check-points, road-blocks, physical danger, and some social, religious, and political hurdles as well. My guide got me safely to my destination. I literally owed my life to his safe-keeping. The Lord Jesus promised his followers that he would be their personal guide and friend who would lead them to the source of  lasting peace, enduring friendship, and abundant life.

Jesus made a statement which only God could make and deliver. Jesus proclaimed: I am the way, and the truth, and the life (John 14:6). The Lord Jesus is the one and only way that leads directly to the heavenly Father who created us in his image and likeness (Genesis 1:26,27), and who sent his only begotten Son to redeem and restore us to lasting friendship with God (John 3:16). Jesus fulfills the promise which God spoke through Moses and the prophets – he would provide a way that leads to abundant life, peace, and holiness. "You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way which the Lord your God has commanded you" (Deuteronomy 5:32-33). "And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it" (Isaiah 35:8). "Teach me your way, O Lord; and lead me on a level path" (Psalm 27:11).

The Lord Jesus came to restore paradise for us and he promises to return again to usher in a new creation – a  "new heaven and a new earth" (Revelation 21:1) where God will dwell with his people in perfect peace and unity. That is why Jesus proclaims that he is the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus does not simply give advice and direction. He personally is the Way, and we cannot miss it if we look to him as our guide and shepherd. Through his life-giving word and through the gift of the Holy Spirit, the Lord Jesus guides each of us personally in our daily lives. The Lord Jesus also is the Truth. Many can say, "I have taught you the truth." Only Jesus can say I am the Truth. Moral truth cannot be conveyed in words alone; it must also be conveyed in real life example as well. Jesus embodies the truth in his own person. Jesus also is the Life. He not only shows us the path of life (Psalm 16:11); he gives the kind of life which only God can give – abundant life which never fails nor ends. Is there any fear, doubt, or obstacle that keeps you from the perfect peace and happiness which God freely offers through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?

 "Lord Jesus, you fill us with the joy of your saving presence and you give us the hope of everlasting life with the Father in Heaven. Show me the Father that I may grow in the knowledge of your great love and truth."

Psalm 2:6-11a

6 "I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill."
7 I will tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to me, "You are my son, today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel."
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling rejoice.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Christ our physician, by Augustine of Hippo, 430-543 A.D.

"God sent the human race a physician, a savior, One Who healed without charging a fee. Christ also came to reward those who would be healed by Him. Christ heals the sick, and He makes a gift to those whom He heals. And the gift that He makes is Himself!" (excerpt from Sermon 102,2)


Go to | Daily Reading & Meditation Index |
Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use. Cite copyright & source: www.dailyscripture.net
author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers.
 

The Daily Scripture Readings and Meditations is in need of on-going development to expand resources and to reach people around the world. If you would like to contribute, you can make an online donation.